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Ultrasound training: FAQs

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about ultrasound training.

Which units are recognised for ultrasound training and who coordinates the training?

The RCOG doesn’t recognise specific units for the ultrasound modules. Ultrasound training is organised by the Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator. Your local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor will coordinate your ultrasound training and will nominate unit-based ultrasound trainers. This applies to both obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound, and to both basic and intermediate training. For more details, please read the information about delivery of ultrasound training.

If you have any questions, please contact your Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator. For information and contact details, see the list of Deanery Ultrasound Coordinators.

Do I have to pay to register for the ultrasound modules?

No. There is no need to register with or pay the College as all training is provided locally. There may be local arrangements in place for charging for theoretical or practical training.

Are the ultrasound modules mandatory?

Both basic modules are a mandatory part of the core curriculum. The requirements for completion are:

  • If you entered ST1 in August 2013 or later, you’ll need to satisfactorily complete the basic ultrasound modules by the end of ST3
  • If you entered ST1 before August 2013, you’ll need to satisfactorily complete the basic ultrasound modules by the end of ST5

The intermediate modules are freestanding but align with certain ATSMs or subspecialty training programmes – please read the guidance on ultrasound training in advanced and subspecialty training.

Are any of the ultrasound modules mandatory or recommended for certain ATSMs or subspecialty training?

Please read the guidance on ultrasound training in advanced and subspecialty training.

I’m not registering for an ATSM/subspecialty training where an intermediate ultrasound module is mandatory, but I’m still interested in completing one of the modules. What should I do?

You’ll need to discuss this with your Educational Supervisor and College Tutor, and then seek prospective approval from your Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator.

Do I need to perform a certain number of ultrasound examinations before I can be signed off?

No, all modules are based on attaining competency, not on the number of examinations you perform. Trainees should expect to take one year of one to two sessions per week to achieve competency.

How are the ultrasound competencies signed off?

You’ll need to be signed off by an independent trainer. You can download OSATS forms for the major aspects of each module, as well as the module completion forms, from the ultrasound module pages.

Does every maternity unit with trainees have to provide ultrasound training?

Yes, this is a requirement. If you have any problems in this regard, please contact your Local Ultrasound Supervisor or, if necessary, your Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator.

Does the College run ultrasound courses?

Yes – for details of courses run at the College, please see the courses and events listings.

The appropriate theoretical course must have been attended within 3 years of the time of completion of the ultrasound module. In exceptional circumstances, it may be that the theoretical course has been completed more than three calendar years prior to the completion date of the ultrasound module due to less than full time training, maternity leave or sick leave. In such circumstances the educational supervisor for the ultrasound module should liaise with the regional ultrasound  coordinator for the LETB/Deanery to ensure that there have not been any significant changes in the theoretical courses for the specific ultrasound module and then inform the Head of School/Chair of DSTC of the LETB/Deanery. If the Head of School/Chair of DSTC is in agreement with allowing a ‘time expired’ activity based on the information above then RCOG can allow this. 

Does the College have a national ultrasound lead?

Yes, the College has an Ultrasound Officer who deals with all enquiries relating to ultrasound and the delivery of practical training nationally. To contact the Ultrasound Officer, please email the Policy Coordinator (Advanced Training).

How do people apply to become ultrasound preceptors/trainers?

This is determined by the Deanery Ultrasound Coordinators in your deanery, not by the College.

Is there a training course for ultrasound preceptors/trainers?

At present there is no training course. However, the College anticipates developing a ‘training the trainers’ course for those offering obstetric and gynaecological training. Information will become available in the future.

Find out more

If you can’t find the answer to your question, or want information, please email the Trainees' Coordinator or call +44 20 7772 6348.

Elsewhere on the site

Assessment of training
Information about sign-off of competencies, workplace-based assessments, ARCPs and more
Ultrasound training resources
Useful resources to help support your ultrasound training